The best that the Championship has to offer

It should go without saying but it seems worth re-enforcing that it would be difficult for any casual viewer to see every Football League team in action over the course of a season. Of the three divisions, the Championship certainly receives the most coverage but even this can be a devil to keep track of.

Things are made even trickier these days given the revolving door of short-term loan signings that pervade the second tier. So, every now and then, it is worth trying to gauge opinion among fans by carrying out exercises like this. This may serve little purpose in the wider scheme of things but it does help guide this site as it tries to cover the Football League to the largest extent possible without knowing the intricacies of everyday life at each of the clubs that participate.

This is a flight of fancy that attempts to form a squad of 24 players, each drawn from a different Championship club. If anybody would like to take a stab at providing a version for League One or League Two, please get in touch via email.

And if you don’t agree with the selections below, make sure you have a rant in the Comments section and feel free to put forward your suggested changes or even an entirely different squad from scratch!

Please note – no loan signings have been considered for inclusion.

In the interests of debate, a first XI has also been chosen (in bold) – although there is a distinct lack of wide players! The most difficult choice here was certainly the two centre-forward positions.


GOALKEEPERS


David James (Bristol City)

Keiren Westwood (Coventry City)

Julian Speroni (Crystal Palace)


DEFENDERS


Stephen Foster (Barnsley)

Clarke Carlisle (Burnley)

James Bailey (Derby County)

Gareth McAuley (Ipswich Town)

Wes Morgan (Nottingham Forest)

Sean St Ledger (Preston North End)

Chris Morgan (Sheffield United)

Ashley Williams (Swansea City)


MIDFIELDERS


Brian Stock (Doncaster Rovers)

Cameron Stewart (Hull City)

Robert Snodgrass (Leeds United)

Andy King (Leicester City)

Barry Robson (Middlesbrough)

Liam Lawrence (Portsmouth)

Adel Taarabt (Queen’s Park Rangers)

Josh Wright (Scunthorpe United)


FORWARDS


Jay Bothroyd (Cardiff City)

Steve Morison (Millwall)

Grant Holt (Norwich City)

Shane Long (Reading)

Danny Graham (Watford)


Your feedback

If we ignore the oversight that initially saw two Reading players selected and none from Preston North End (!), the final team is listed above.

Your suggested changes to the first XI:

  • Julian Speroni instead of Keiren Westwood

Your suggested changes to the squad:

  • John Brayford instead of James Bailey (both Derby County defenders)
  • James Coppinger instead of Brian Stock (both Doncaster Rovers midfielders)
  • Richie Wellens instead of Andy King (both Leicester City midfielders)
  • Chris Gunter or Luke Chambers instead of Wes Morgan (all Nottingham Forest defenders)

Your suggested additions:

  • Lee Camp (Nottingham Forest)
  • Kasper Schmeichel (Leeds United)
  • Chris Eagles (Burnley)
  • Jimmy Kebe (Reading)
  • Luciano Becchio (Leeds United)
  • Davide Somma (Leeds United)

The Seventy Two
The Seventy Two published an outstanding series of articles about the Football League between 2010-12 and was the brainchild of Leicester City fan, David Bevan. As well as collaborating with The Two Unfortunates on the Football League Blog Network and a mammoth 2011-12 season preview, the site featured a host of leading bloggers and David was rewarded with a nomination in the 2011 Football Supporters’ Federation awards. Latterly, he was joined as co-editor by Joe Harrison and TTU is happy to present this archive of the site’s output.

18 Comments

  1. Tom
    February 19, 2011

    If you’re going to pick a Derby defender surely you should pick their best one in Brayford, same could be said for Forest in picking Morgan over Gunter, especially as you’ve only picked centre backs. Brayford and Gunter would provide 2 full backs at least.

    Reply
    • theseventytwo
      February 19, 2011

      Fair comment. I haven’t seen an awful lot of Derby so I will bow to greater knowledge on that one.

      Forest were one of the hardest teams to choose from – narrowed it down to Camp, Gunter, Morgan and McGugan – don’t think anyone else deserves a mention alongside those four. Gunter is the best full-back in the division and he was certainly close. I just think Morgan is a colossus…

      Reply
  2. Paul
    February 19, 2011

    Becchio has been good for Leeds this season.
    I’m a Bristol City fan.

    Reply
    • theseventytwo
      February 19, 2011

      Yep, I had Becchio and Kebe to start with and changed it to include Snodgrass and Long instead! That applies to Urzz’s comment too!

      Reply
  3. urzz1871
    February 19, 2011

    Ask virtually any Championship defender the same question and I think they’d all say that Reading’s Jimmy Kebe has terrorised them this season, so a surprising omission, I’d say.

    Reply
    • theseventytwo
      February 19, 2011

      See comment above, plus I just realised I had two Reading players and none from Preston! haha Mills has been sacrificed.

      Reply
  4. Shane
    February 19, 2011

    If you are going to pick a doncaster rovers midfielder the one to pick is James Coppinger, Brian Stock has been injured for the last two seasoons where as copps has played well

    Reply
    • theseventytwo
      February 19, 2011

      Cheers for that, will add it to the post.

      Reply
  5. Craig Noteboom
    February 19, 2011

    Where is Kasper Schmeicel? He has been the best Keeper in championship this season. He pulls off some world class saves. I also think Davide Somma should be in there. Just for his Goals / Games Ratio.

    Reply
    • theseventytwo
      February 19, 2011

      I don’t think you’ve noticed the bit about only including one player from each club?

      Reply
  6. Readingfanman
    February 20, 2011

    So how about an actual best team then from this squad?

    Reply
  7. Readingfanman
    February 20, 2011

    Of course, I mean with an actual side with wide players as well, wouldn’t choose 4 Cb that for sure.

    Reply
    • theseventytwo
      February 20, 2011

      Gotcha. You’d be struggling for a left-back and I’d have done it differently to include more wide players in defence and midfield obviously. It’s tricky though. I can’t think of many good permanent left-backs in the entire division to be honest.

      Reply
  8. Howard Wolowitz
    February 20, 2011

    Barry Robson? Seriously?

    Reply
    • theseventytwo
      February 20, 2011

      Haha okay. Are you a Boro fan? Who would you have instead?

      Reply
  9. Chris
    February 20, 2011

    would definitly have gunter ahead of morgan, morgan hasnt even been the best forest DC, Chambers has been far better!

    as for the rest, i would probably drop bothroyd and have Chris Burke from Cardiff to add some width, and have Danny Graham as first choice striker along with Holt

    Reply
    • theseventytwo
      February 20, 2011

      Good point about the width, although I’m not sure Burke merits a place this season. Doesn’t seem to have been used as much as last season. Graham was close to that first choice team. As someone (rather aggressively!) pointed out on Twitter, Chris Eagles might be worth a place on the wing.

      Seems I was definitely wrong to pick Morgan ahead of Gunter or Chambers. That was honestly one of the places I couldn’t really decide about, but Gunter is probably the pick there on reflection.

      Reply
  10. Steen
    February 22, 2011

    the keeper from QPR, he’s got som many clean sheets
    Billy Sharp from Doncaster
    Coppinger from Doncaster as well for the midfield, he provides som many good crosses
    Don Cowie from Watford as well
    I’m a pompeyfan, and as a young promising player…watch out for Joel Ward…he covered 5 different positions so far this season, and done a good job

    Reply

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